The International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) is making its International Lake Constance University (IBH) project independent. In the future, the 25 universities and colleges of the IBH from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany will operate as members of the Lake Constance Arts & Sciences Association, as the newly established group writes in a press release. The headquarters will be relocated from Kreuzlingen in the canton of Thurgau to Konstanz in Germany.
“The new legal form simplifies cross-border cooperation, opens up new funding opportunities and at the same time cuts administrative costs”, explains Gernot Brauchle in the press release. The president of the University College of Teacher Education Vorarlberg will lead the cooperation council of the arts and sciences association. As an independent legal entity in the form of a European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), the group can apply for third-party funding, for example from EU research framework programs, and distribute them among its members.
The twelve members from Switzerland and Liechtenstein also stand to benefit from the new legal form. “The newly formed arts and sciences network creates another bridge to our partners in the EU and thus promotes the constructive networking of universities in the four-countries that make up the Lake Constance region”, explains Bernhard Ehrenzeller, President of the University of St.Gallen. As of the coming fall semester, students from the member universities can also take courses at another university in the network. In addition, 60 scholarships are to be awarded in the first year.